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August 27, 2018

The importance of hygiene in the food supply chain

As suppliers of PVC stripwe work a lot with food manufacturing businesses. Food safety and food quality are the top concerns for those businesses in the food chain, and never more so than it is at the moment. There are many reasons for the increased awareness of food safety recently, including consumer demands, the increased complexity of the food chain, education, government regulations and reporting of issues on social media.

Food manufacturing and the supply chain has changed dramatically in recent years. In the past, there were few ingredients, fewer products, and fewer places for consumers to buy food from. Nowadays, the food supply chain has increased to include places such as convenience stores, grocery stores and home delivery for both local and international food products. All of these places have added more touch points to the supply chain which has added to the complexity of the food safety process.

In order to fully understand the food safety process, we need to have a clear understanding of the food manufacturing supply chain:

Stage One: Procurement Process (Ingredient / Raw Material)

When you think about most food products, there are a variety of ingredients needed to produce them including raw materials and packaging too. Most food manufacturers aim to get the right quantities of all the raw materials at the best cost at the right time. This is to make sure the customers get the product the way they want it – at the time they want to – whilst also making sure that the manufacturer makes some profit as well.

The issue is that any of the materials used in the manufacturing process can introduce contaminants to the process. Most ingredients are tested as they enter the facility, but other things – such as packaging materials – may not be. A lot of the time, contamination of ingredients and supplies occurs during transport to the manufacturer. Our anti-microbial PVC strip curtains can help with this. Developed in collaboration with SteriTouch Ltd and Vinyl Compounds Ltd, the strip curtains contain anti-microbial protection which helps them to resist the growth of bacteria, biofilm and mould.

Stage Two: Food Manufacturing Process

Managing the food manufacturing process correctly is not only critical for food safety but also for ensuring the business comes out with a profit at the end. There are lots of different ways that contaminants can enter the food manufacturing process, from equipment issues to temperature control. Again, our anti-microbial strip curtains are ideal for protecting against changes in temperature, as well as keeping potential contaminants out of the plant.

Stage Three: Distribution of Finished Goods

Again, the developments in the food supply chain in recent years, now means that the food distribution process is a lot more complex than it used to be. The days of food processing plant to the distribution centre to store are long over. Nowadays there are multiple stops and locations along the way of the distribution process, which all add to the risk of contamination happening.

Stage Four: Sales Point for Finished Goods

A lot of people believe that once the food item has arrived at the store, it is no longer the responsibility of the manufacturer – and this is just not the case. The manufacturer still holds responsibility as they are the provider of the food, but anyone involved in the distribution of the product also holds responsibility – as does the retailer.

So as you can see, there are many food safety challenges faced during the food manufacturing process, but here at Strip Curtains Direct, we have many products that can help reduce the risk of contamination. If you would like to know more about any of our products then please call the team on 0333 999 7171 or email us at